New Penguins play with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin as training camp opens
The Penguins wasted little time testing out their most prominent offseason additions on the first day of training camp in Cranberry. They put the new guys on lines with franchise players.
Dominik Kahun, acquired in a trade which sent popular defenseman Olli Maatta to Chicago in June, skated on a line with Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel during a scrimmage.
“He’s strong on the puck,” Crosby said of Kahun. “He’s got a good shot, can see the ice well.”
Kahun is no stranger to skating with high-end talent. As a rookie, he frequently played on a line last season with Blackhawks stalwarts Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad.
Being Crosby’s linemate on the first day of training camp is hardly a prelude for what may happen in games of consequence. After all, Daniel Sprong skated with Crosby and Guentzel when the franchise’s 2018 training camp opened 366 days earlier. Failing to ever fully enamor management, Sprong rarely played above a bottom-six role — on the occasions he wasn’t a healthy scratch — and was dealt to Anaheim in December.
“It was a first scrimmage so everyone was (all over the place),” Kahun said. “But we found some good passes there. We had some good plays. I would love to have some chances to score more goals.
“We’re all three, I think, smart players. We can get used to each other and make those smart plays.”
Meanwhile, Alex Galchenyuk, the primary return in a June trade which jettisoned all-star Phil Kessel to Arizona, lined up on the left wing with Evgeni Malkin. They were joined by a rotation of Brandon Tanev, a lucrative offseason signing, and incumbent Bryan Rust.
Malkin spoke highly of his potential new linemates, particularly Tanev.
“They’re really fast,” said Malkin. “Tanev, he’s probably one of the fastest guys in the NHL. We try to understand, we talk. We have lots of time to have good chemistry. The first day, we scored two goals but we can play better for sure. They’re new guys. They need to understand the system. They will the more we have meetings, they will (see on video) how we play. We’ll be fine. I like to play with these two guys. They’re hungry. They’re young.”
Malkin’s team defeated Crosby’s team, 3-1, in the scrimmage. Malkin, Teddy Blueger (penalty shot) and Tanev (empty net) scored for the winning squad while Guentzel scored the lone goal for his team.
Seth Rorabaugh is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Seth by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .